A New Zealander who caught the flying bug after a joyride in
1928 with pioneering Australian aviator Charles Kingsford
Smith then was a World War 2 fighter ace has died in England.
Peter Hall, born in Opotiki on May 16 1922, died on May 22.
Flight Lieutenant Hall was a school teacher before joining
the RNZAF in July 1941. After training he was sent to Britain
where he joined a Spitfire photographic reconnaissance unit.
In July 1943 he joined 488 (NZ) Squadron, at that time
stationed in Scotland and flying night defence patrols in
Beaufighters. Mr Hall teamed up with Pilot Officer R D
Marriott, an RAF navigator.
The pair chalked up eight confirmed kills including five
Junkers 88s, a Messerschmidt 410, and two Dornier 217s.
Both men were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in
July 1944, while Flt Lt Hall was awarded a bar to the DFC in
After the war he remained in Britain and became an aircraft
salesman with de Havilland.
In the early 1950s he accompanied the inaugural flight of the
Comet to New Zealand, and later arranged the sale of Hawker
Siddeley aircraft to Sir Harry Wigley, founder of Mt Cook
In 1972 he established a woodcraft business Peter Hall &
Son Limited in the Lakes district of Cumbria.
Mr Hall caught the flying bug as a boy, when his clergyman
father shelled out 10 shillings ($1) for him to go on a
flight in 1928 with Mr Smith.
His English wife, Mary, died last year. The couple are
survived by three children and many grandchildren.